Contrast and Affinity: Rhythm

Creative Commons image rhythm of the rails by j van cise photos at Flickr

The following information was adapted from Bruce Block’s The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media chapter 8 starting on p. 197.

Steps

  1. Create a blog post titled, Contrast and Affinity: Rhythm
    • Create the following headings
      • Summary
      • Terms and Concepts
      • Films to Watch
      • Controlling Rhythm Production
      • What I Learned
  2. Define terms and concepts
  3. Watch scenes from selected films that showcase the visual structure
  4. Create a short film that emphasizes the visual structure and embed in your blog post
  5. Write what you learned
    • Include feedback about the film
  6. Invite someone edit your blog post
  7. Turn in a blog post feedback form

Terms and Concepts

  • Alteration
  • Repetition
  • Tempo

1. Rhythm of Stationary Objects

Accented and Unaccented

 

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 197).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 196).

 

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 196).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 196).

 

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 197).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 197).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 197).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 197).

Shot 3

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 197).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 198).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 198).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 198).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 198).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 199).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 199).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 199).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 199).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 200).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 200).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 200).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 200).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 200).
Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 200).
Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 201).
Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 201).

Rhythm Stationary 3a

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 202).
Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 202).

2. Rhythm of a Moving Object

  • Primary Rhythm
    • Entering and Exiting the Frame

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 203).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 204).

 

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 204).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 204).

  • Passing another Object

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 204).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 204).

 

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 205).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 205).

  • Moving and Stopping

 

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 205).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 205).

  • Changing Direction

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 205).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 205).

  • Secondary Rhythm

 

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 205).

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 205).

  • Editorial Rhythm

3. The Event

The event is simple: a hand opens a door.

  • The subevents that makeup the event are:
  1. The hand reaches for the door knob.
  2. The hand grasps the knob.
  3. The hand hums the knob.
  4. The door latch moues.
  5. The door begins to open.
  6. The hand releases the knob.
  7. The door completely opens.
Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 209).
Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 209).
  • The Continuous Event
  • The Fragmented Event
    • Visual Emphasis
    • Contrast and Affinity Control
    • Editorial Event Control
    • Editorial Rhythmic Control
    • Visual Variety
    • Finding a Rhythm
    • Directional Choice

4. Rhythmic Patterns

 

Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 211).
Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 211).
Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p.211).
Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p.211).
Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 211).
Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 211).
Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 167).
Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (p. 212).

5. Contrast and Affinity

  • Slow  / Fast
  • Regular / Irregular

Films to Watch

Each of these films has a distinct rhythmic control of the sound and visual components. Watch the films with the sound on, and then again with the sound off, and the rhythmic structure of the pictures and the editing will become clear.

  • Rhythmic Control
    • Raging Bull (1980)
      • Directed by Martin Scorsese
      • Written by Ingmar Bergman
      • Photographed by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martint
      • Art Direction by Gene Rudolph
      • Edited by Thelma Schoonmaker
    • Rumble Fish (1983)
      • Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
      • Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola
      • Photographed by Steve Burum
      • Production Design by Dean Tavoularis
      • Edited by Barry Malkin
    • Barry Lyndon (1975)
      • Directed by Stanley Kubrick
      • Written by Stanley Kubrick
      • Photographed by John Alcott
      • Production Design by Ken Adam
    • Rashomon (1951)
      • Directed by Akira Kurosawa
      • Written by Akira Kurosawa
      • Photographed by Kazuo Miyagawa
      • Art Direction by H. Motsumoto
    • The Last Picture Show (1971)
      • Directed by Peter Bogdanovich
      • Written by Peter Bogdanovich and Larry McMurtry
      • Photographed by Robert Surtees
      • Production Design by Polly Platt
      • Edited by Don Cambern
  • The Continuous and Fragment Event
    • Touch of Evil (1958)
      • Directed by Orson Welles
      • Written by Orson Welles
      • Photographed by Russell Metty
      • Art Direction by Robert Clatworthy
      • Edited by Edward Curtiss
    • Goodfellas (1990)
      • Directed by Martin Scorsese
      • Written by Nicholas Pileggi
      • Photographed by Michael Ballhaus
      • Production Design by Christie Zea
      • Edited by Thelma Schoonmaker
    • The Untouchables (1987)
      • Directed by Brian DePalma
      • Written by David Mamet
      • Photographed by Steven Burum
      • Production Design by Patrizia Von Brandenstein
      • Edited by Jerry Greenberg
    • Man on Fire (2004)
      • Directed by Tony Scott
      • Screenplay by Brian Helgeland
      • Production Design by Benjamin Fernandez and Chris Seagers
      • Edited by Christian Wagner
    • Run, Lola, Run (1999)
      • Directed by Tom Tykwer
      • Written by Tom Tykwer
      • Photographed by Frank Griebe
      • Production Design by Alexander Manasse
      • Edited by Mathilde Bonnefoy
    • JFK (1991)
      • Directed by Oliver Stone
      • Written by Oliver Stone and Zachary Sklar
      • Photographed by Robert Richardson
      • Production Design by Victor Kempster
      • Edited by Joe Hutshing and Pietro Scalia
    • The Russian Ark (2002)
      • Directed by Alexander Sokurov
      • Written by Anatoli Nikiforov
      • Photographed by Tilman Büttner
      • Art Direction by Natalya Kochergina
    • Traffic (2000)
      • Directed by Steven Soderbergh
      • Screenplay by Stephen Gaghan
      • Photographed by Steven Soderbergh
      • Production Design by Philip Messina

Controlling Rhythm During Production

Rhythmic control is complex. Here are some guidelines for controlling it during production.

1. Watch the lines. Linear motif is the arrangement of stationary lines in the picture. It is also the key to finding the visual rhythm. Once you find the lines (using all the methods described in Chapter 4), evaluate them to find the rhythm. If there are only a few evenly spaced lines, the rhythm is probably slow and regular. As the number of lines increases, the visual rhythm gets faster. If the lines are uneven, it’s probably an irregular rhythm.

2. Don’t confuse rhythm with movement. Most visual rhythms are created by stationary objects. A fast movement may not have a fast rhythm (or any rhythm at all). A movement can be slow or fast, but that is a separate visual component.

3. Find rhythm in movement. Certain types of movements do create visual rhythm. The rhythmic beat will increase in intensity as the moving object gets larger in frame.

4. Find the rhythm for a scene. If you have dialogue, find the sound’s rhythm first and then let it define the visual rhythm. If there is no dialogue, using other sounds or music can help you discover the visual rhythm.

5. Plan the editing. Decide how much editing will be involved in a scene or sequence. This will affect the amount of fragmentation or coverage you’ll need.

Block, Bruce (2013-04-02). The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (pp. 213-214). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

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